Tag Archives: Biscuits

Continuing a Family Tradition at King’s Barbecue of Petersburg, Virginia

1 Nov

King’s Bar B Q #2 in Petersburg, VA has long been a family favorite. I first ate here decades ago with my Grandparents, Philip & Annie Mae Justice. Philip was a native North Carolinian. Annie Mae hailed from Appomattox, Virginia – site of the Civil War surrender. Both were raised on authentic Southern BBQ. In short, they knew a thing or two about good, downhome Dixie grub.

King’s exterior is classic 1950’s BBQ joint architecture. Giant pine trees loom large in the background. Hasn’t changed a bit since our first visits back in the 1970s. Has something of a colonial look — especially the maroon-painted faux front door. You see everything from shiny Mercedes to banged-up El Caminos in the parking lot. Everyone, rich or poor, knows that this is the place to score some tasty smoked pig. Nearby Ely’s BBQ once challenged the throne of King’s, but we learned on this trip that they had closed their doors for good. Oh well, never got to sample & compare. Survival of the fittest, I reckon.   

King’s Famous Bar B Q — “Even Our Sign is Cool”

Yes, there once was a King’s Number 1, but Number 2 outlasted it.

This retro placemat logo appeared on the original King’s menu

These vinyl menu covers have seen a lot of duty thru the years

Tiny buttered biscuits & iced sweet tea – a good start to our feast

Confederate Heroes looked down on us as we dined at King’s

Ah yes, King’s famous chopped pork shoulder. Some of the best you will find anywhere. Lean, just the right amount of smoke, lovingly chopped by hand. Whack, whack, whack. That’s the soundtrack at King’s. And it is pure music to my ears. Brother Mark and I each ordered the large pork plate. Comes with a mountain of pigmeat and two sides.

I ordered collards and a potato pancake. The collards were just OK … nothing more. Likely out of a can. Sure looked & tasted like it. And the potato pancake was bland and, to be honest, a tad dry. But who really cares? We didn’t come here for sides. We came here to chow down on some world class smoked pork. That did not disappoint. Never does. Been here countless times and it’s always consistently excellent. As is the house BBQ sauce. Tastes a lot like Sauer’s BBQ Sauce (a popular Richmond-based brand) — could be for all I know. I just know it’s vinegar and spice embrace are an ideal match for King’s chopped pork.

We were in the Richmond/Petersburg area to celebrate Granny Justice’s 100th birthday. Our visit to King’s could have only been made better if Granny had been seated alongside. Just like the good old days. Her smile and infectious laugh making the dining room a better place. We (Mark and I) wouldn’t be here without her. Wouldn’t be eating at King’s. Wouldn’t be on this Earth, for that matter. So thanks and thanks again, Granny. You’re the greatest and we’re blessed to have you in our lives. Here’s to another 100 years — and another visit to King’s. The sooner, the better.  

King’s Barbecue – 2910 S. Crater Rd., Petersburg, Virginia

(804) 732-0975; www.kingsfamousbarbecue.com

***Closed on Mondays & Tuesday***

Popeye’s Still Good in a Pinch

11 Sep

As many of you know, I am not a big fast food guy. In fact, I usually go out of my way to avoid any fast food experience. However, I must say that an occasional visit to Popeye’s is not necessarily a bad thing. It had been a while since I’d given them a try. Most likely because I have normally had equal or better options for tasty fried fowl and/or authentic Louisiana specialties. But we now reside in SW FL, where it can be pretty difficult to find anything remotely Southern. I had not found any decent fried chicken and was not even sure if it existed here. Someone asked me the other day about my favorite fried chicken in Sarasota and I drew a complete blank. It was time for me to remember what it tasted like.

I hit the drive thru at Popeye’s on Highway 41 just north of downtown Sarasota. It is not the best part of town and the clientele is mostly poor, working class folks. There were several vehicles in the lot when I pulled up — most of them were pick-ups and city-owned cars. I ordered a spicy chicken breast (yes, I’m a white meat guy), a buttermilk biscuit, and a side of red beans and rice. The crispy breast was scalding hot and delicious. The buttery biscuit was just as good as I had remembered. And the red beans and rice — while not quite New Orleans quality — really hit the spot. It all cost less than $5, so the price was right.

So — who has the best fried chicken in Sarasota? Right now I would have to say Popeye’s. It’s certainly not as good as Mom’s … and a far cry from Uncle Lou’s fabulous honey-dipped bird in Memphis. I guess my next stop will be KFC. It has been ages since I have darkened their door. Who knows? Maybe a taste of the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices will rekindle some deep, childhood memories. Or perhaps it will be a colossal disappointment. I’ll give it a shot and see what gives. Stay tuned!